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Help! My Dog Doesn’t Want to Run with Me

My dog doesn’t want to run with me, is this normal? Unfortunately, this can be a common problem. Dogs love running, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will want to run with you. Instead, most canines love to run out in front, doing their own thing as they burn off energy.

However, that isn’t to say you can’t train your dog to enjoy running alongside you.

If you dream of running with your dog, there are ways to make it happen. Starting off slowly, gradually increasing the length of runs, and building up their confidence can all help to turn your pet into the perfect running companion.

Just like us, dogs need plenty of exercise to keep them healthy and happy. Training them to run with you can help to manage their weight, curb bad behavior, and build up the bond between the two of you. Like everything, it simply takes time, patience, and persistence to get results.      

text: my dog doesn't want to run with me picture of man and a dog

My Dog Doesn’t Want to Run with Me – 5 Tips

There are a few reasons your dog might not want to run with you. It could be down to fear or anxiety, or they may want to run ahead, making them constantly pull on the leash. If they are reluctant to run with you, while it may be frustrating, there are tips you can follow which can help.

Tip #1: Walk Before You Run

One of the best tips you can follow before you go on a run with your dog, is to make sure they are first comfortable and obedient while walking. You should always walk before your run anyway, as this acts as a warmup for your dog’s joints, reducing the risk of injury. 

Tip #2: Get Them Checked out At the Vet

If your dog is reluctant to run with you, it might be worth getting them checked out at the vets. It could be they find running uncomfortable due to issues with their joints. Having them checked over is a good idea before you get started anyway, as the vet will be able to advise you on things such as how far they should run.

Tip #3: Run on Dirt Trails or Grass

Did you know it’s harder for your dog to run on asphalt than it is on dirt trails or grass? Running on roads can lead to pad abrasions, and it generally isn’t very comfortable for your pet pooch. If you want them to enjoy long runs, taking them on dirt trails or grass will help.

Tip #4: Make Sure They Understand and Follow Basic Commands

Does your dog run out in front and refuse to come back? If you struggle to keep them with you during a run, you’ll want to work on basic commands first. Train them to walk on a leash without pulling, and to come when called. This will help to protect your dog while out on a run, as well as give you peace of mind.   

Tip #5: Don’t Run When It’s Hot

Like humans, dogs can develop serious health problems if they run in hot weather. Even sled dogs can suffer from heat stress when running. Do, if they don’t want to run with you, it could be because they are too hot and uncomfortable.

How Do I Get my Dog to Jog with Me?

There are some great tips you can follow to get your dog to jog with you such as using treats, jogging in short bursts, and making sure they have fun. If they find it a stressful experience, no dog is going to want to job alongside you. You will also need to ensure you are going at a suitable time.

Using treats is a great way to train your dog to jog with you. Make sure they can see the treat as you slowly begin jogging. Their attention should be fully on you (or the treat) as you run. Jog a few steps, stop and give them a treat. Repeat this and jog for a little longer each time, while also reducing the amount of treats you provide and replacing them with praise. 

Don’t shout at your dog as you are trying to get them to jog with you. If you do and they find it a stressful experience, they aren’t going to want to do it again. Make the jog as fun as possible and consider taking their favorite toy along to help ramp up the excitement.

How to Tell if Your Dog Is Uncomfortable Running

You can tell if your dog is uncomfortable running by paying attention to visual clues. Excessive panting, abnormal drooling, and limping are all common signs to watch out for.

If you want to enjoy a safe and enjoyable run with your dog, you will need to pay attention to their behavior. Some dogs won’t stop running, even if they are feeling uncomfortable. Therefore, it’s down to you to look out for clues that they have done too much.

The most obvious sign your dog is uncomfortable running is if they begin limping. Doing too much exercise can hurt the joints or the pads of the paws, making it difficult for your dog to run.


If you are wondering why doesn’t my dog want to run with me? It could be down to a range of factors. Dogs can make the best running partners, but it can take a little time to get them used to running with you. It is also worth noting that not all dogs can run long distances. Bulldogs and breeds with a short, scrunched up nose for example, will struggle to run due to breathing difficulties.

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About the author

Jasper loves to write about fitness, running, and anything else that gets him moving outdoors. He's an avid hiker, backpacker, and climber who loves to stay fit so he can make sure he's healthy enough to enjoy his favorite hobbies. He also spends time writing about his true passions in life.